What with being 5 days away from Night of Champions already, and with the next PPV Hell in a Cell only just 9 days ahead, I was rather ashamed to have forgotten about the conflict between the Brothers of Destruction considering Raw had kicked off the build-up already, taking my attention away from the Blue Brand’s main event last Sunday. So when last night’s Smackdown started, Kane coming out as World Heavyweight Champion brought it all flooding back. Seeing as the next show after a PPV is important, I assumed Kane would be coming out to do a promo about how he destroyed his brother. I was shocked to hear the announcer say “the next match is set for one fall”. The world heavyweight champion? On the first match of the card? The man who is “the best in the world at what he does” once said the most important matches on the card are the first one and the last one. I thought this must be a pretty impressive match if they’ve got the champ fighting and it’s not towards the end of the night, they must have a big superstar for him to face. How wrong was i? Chris Masters comes out from his hiding place down the back of the sofa to face the world champ. In the words of Vickie Guerrero: Excuse me?! Why is he here? Where has he been? What relevance does he have to this match? Does he do anything nowadays for WWE other than jiggle his pecs at Ozzy Osbourne? After the inevitable struggle with the Master Lock, Kane made short of his opponent and Chris Masters evaporated, not to be seen till a few months from now when someone else needs a job. Finally Kane made his promo (why he needed the match I still don’t know) and as usual does a brilliant job. The part where he’s leaning over that young guy with a “oh snap” face on in the audience was priceless. Poor kid.
Next we have the Hart Dynasty using their rematch clause. Now, I’m not much of a fan of tag matches. I am when it’s proper tag teams facing each other. For example, if the Hart Dynasty were facing the Usos, the Dudebuster, even Santino and Kozlov. But I still can’t get over the fact that WWE just threw Drew McCintyre and Cody Rhodes together. I like them both but they’ve had no reason to be a team other than the fact that they’re both heels. Nice bit of work from Drew though, using the turnbuckle to beat Tyson Kidd. Drew and Cody are looking pretty solid though. Even with two huge egos, they can still work together and I’m guessing that they’ll be keeping the titles till at least Christmas.
Now Chavo vs Kaval. The winner of NXT season 2, who beat a host of other young hopefuls including the son of hall of famer Mr. Perfect, facing a third generation jobber who’s most recent storyline involved getting beaten in ridiculous matches week after week by a leprechaun. After an entertaining match showing skilled athleticism from both parties, Chavo pulls off a hard earned win. Hold on a minute, what the hell just happened? Did I really just watch a match with chavo in that was easily the best night of the match so far? Did WWE actually do the unthinkable and allow Chavo to show that he does have the skill of Mexico’s most famous wrestling family? And against someone who’s got a long and illustrious career ahead of him? This match actually blew me off my feet and I think I can say the same for most people who saw this match. This was actually one of my favourite matches of the night just because of the shock it gave me. Perhaps WWE are giving Kaval the Daniel Bryan treatment and making him lose all his opening matches?
Alberto Del Rio’s mixture of trumpets and car horns fills the air as once more the newest addition to the Smackdown roster enters the arena. We saw him earlier standing over the battered body of Christian. For those who don’t know, Christian has recently had an operation on his pectoral muscle and sources say he will be out for several months. It’s a shame really because Christian has had very little to do and I thought a feud with Del Rio would have helped both men with their careers. But at least this gives Christian an excuse to not be seen and to have a feud with Del Rio when he returns. Anyway, Alberto comes into the ring to update people on the situation regarding Rey Mysterio. He proudly announces to everyone that Rey will be returning next week and facing Del Rio in the ring. It was only at this point that I realised the audience had barely made a sound all night. There was barely any pop at all at the mention of Rey’s return. Alberto said to the crowd not to get to excited and grinned. I’m still not sure if he was grinning to show he had an evil plan for the master of the 619, or smiling at his own witty humour on account of the fact that you’d get more cheers and noise in a retirement home than you would from tonight’s audience. To be fair on them though, they had just been forced to watch musical chairs on the taping of this week’s NXT.
Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer. Where the hell have they been? They’d been given 30 days to impress Vickie Guerrero god knows how many months ago. 30 days came and went, they impressed no one, they were never seen again. Them bam! They’re back, just to get squashed by the Big Show. Was there really any point in this match other than to use up time?
But wait, where has this extra time come from? Something’s missing. What could it be? My god! We haven’t seen something “From the Vault”! How can we go throughout the whole episode of Smackdown without being treated to a match we saw just 2 years ago that involved Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Taker, Matt Hardy or Edge? (Check them, at least one is in each and every from the vault match). Well, very easily I say. I was never a fan of From the Vault and always found it an incredible waste of my time. Another reason why I liked tonight’s episode.
It’s usually around this time that every goes for a toilet break- I mean, that the Divas come out. But no, not a Diva match either! This episode of Smackdown just keeps getting better and better. Strange though considering Smackdown’s LayCool won the unification match of the women’s titles.
C M Punk vs Luke Gallows. This I thought was quite an interesting match but it had very little build up. It was good to see Luke actually do some stuff considering he’s probably going to be released anytime soon what with the implosion of the SES. Bit of a Cena/superman comeback from Punk in my opinion though, having been destroyed by Gallows for the majority of the match.
Next up it’s Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston for an Intercontinental Title match. Oh wait, they’re not doing that this week? Shock as MVP comes out. A little side note here: MVP really does nothing for me. He’s basically a PG version of a chav who beats up people’s dads in wheelchairs. People moan for him to have a push but I’ve seen him as US champion and I’ve seen him without the belt and frankly, I prefer it much better when he’s not on my screen altogether. His gimmick is lame, I mean come on, what has basketball got to do with anything in this business? But of course WWE refuses t give Dolph any credibility of beating someone cleanly and MVP wins by countout/Dolph giving up and sodding off.
Undertaker. It’s a dark stairway. His future’s unsure. A door opens and a shadow falls upon him. Taker gets up to destroy them but stops, looks incredulously, then rolls his eyes into the back of his head. Come on, to those people who hadn’t already guessed it by the reports early on in the week about someone special coming back, you had to have guessed by now?
Kane comes out to cut another promo. He gives us the groundbreaking news that he’ll defend the world title at Hell in a Cell against Undertaker. The music swells up, people cheer, the millions watching around the globe gasp in horror at the thought of such an epic confrontation being made! It’s great how they try and make something so extremely predictable to be so dramatic. But then the lights go out, chanting starts, and hooded figures come out to bring a coffin to the ring. (Come on, you have to have guessed by now, just look at the width of the thing). Kane starts to look worried, then angry (for a change) walks over to the casket, rips the lid open and Paul Bearer (“The Father of Destruction”) is revealed. What’s that he’s got with him? Surely it’s not the urn? One of the most symbolic images of Undertaker’s career?! Bearer rears himself up, grabs the urn, and pulls that face that we all know and love. You know the face I mean. The Paul Bearer face. The look that’s crossed between a Bond villain setting about his evil plan, and an orgasm. He’s screaming something but you can’t hear him. I can’t wait till next week to hear that puberty screech again. And I honestly mean that. The shouts and cheers of the suddenly alive audience drown out the little kids asking “who’s that?”. Quite ironic actually that the audience was dead until this gruesome chap popped up. The lights go out, come back on and Kane had Bearer and Undertaker on either side of him. Wow Paul’s lost weight. He underwent Gastric Bypass Surgery last decade, causing him to leave WWE/F for a while. And although he returned, he later “drowned” in a tomb filled with cement. During the last few years, Bearer (real name William Moody) has been working at an actual undertaker service. Undertaker finally shows some strength and attacks Kane, forcing him to run away. What we are left with a chilling image of Undertaker bowing with Bearer holding the urn aloft in triumph.
Frankly, I found this episode of Smackdown to be the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long while. It’s always good to see a forgotten face return with no warning. This was also helped by the fact that there was no Divas match and no From the Vault video. The Chavo/Kaval match was entertaining with a good surprising ending and a result that Chavo needed desperately. The rest of the matches were solid except for the opening match which just seemed like random, shoddy, last minute booking which cost it full marks. I’m going for either 8 or 9 out of 10……..ah to hell with it, Paul Bearer’s back so I’ll be nice and give it 9/10.
This is Alex Robinson, this is my first report and I hope you enjoyed it.